Reports: Alabama courting UW Huskies offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb | Seattle Times Sports

Jan.30 (Reuters) – Ryan Grubb received two raises in the past three months, becoming the highest-paid assistant in husky football history.

Maybe he’s going anyway.

According to reports from 247Sports and The Athletic, Washington’s offensive coordinator and second-year quarterbacks coach is being courted for the same role at Alabama. 247Sports reported that Grubb is flying to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on Monday to meet with Alabama coach Nick Saban, while The Athletic called Grubb “a person of serious interest” for the Crimson Tide.

Grubb would succeed Bill O’Brien, who returned to the New England Patriots from Alabama last week after two seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

In his freshman season in Seattle, Grubb and head coach Kalen DeBoer helped revive the Husky offense — national firsts in passing (369.8 yards per game), first downs (27.2 per game), third down conversions (56, 83%), completions for 10-plus yards (193) and tackles allowed for losses (31). The Huskies ranked second in total offense (516.2 yards per game) and sacks allowed (7), seventh in scoring (39.7 points per game) and 10th in yards per game (6, 88).

That improvement coincided with the arrival of Indiana transfer quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who set a school record and led the nation in passing yards (4,641) while adding 35 total touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Penix, standout wide receivers Rome Odunze and Jalen McMillan, and left tackle Troy Fautanu have all announced over the past two months that they will be returning to Montlake in 2023 rather than declaring for the NFL draft.

But their offensive coordinator — a man, UW offensive lineman Jaxson Kirkland, who called “a wizard on offense” and “the best kept secret in college football” at Pac-12 Media Day on July 29 — may not be back.

That’s despite Grubb getting a pay rise in December (after interest from Texas A&M) that would earn him $2 million annually through 2025. A previous raise in November was worth $1.45 million in 2023, $1.55 million in 2024, and $1.67 million in 2025. The Kingsley, Iowa native and alumnus Buena Vista University initially agreed to a two-year contract worth $1.02 million a year this past offseason.

“My first emotional reaction to being here [last winter] was that this place could be incredibly special without really knowing anything about Washington,” Grubb said in November is incredibly special. So I’m happy to be here.”

Grubb’s salary will surpass that of former Husky head coach Jimmy Lake, who made $1.4 million in 2019 — after ironically turning down Alabama as UW’s defensive coordinator. And according to USA Today’s salary database, only two college football assistants made $2 million or more this year — Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken ($2.005 million) and Ohio State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles ($1.9 million). dollars, more than $2 million with incentives).

Grubb also left a documented history with DeBoer – with whom he worked at the University of Sioux Falls (offensive line coach and run game coordinator, 2007-09), Eastern Michigan (offensive line coach, 2014-16) and worked together Fresno State (offensive line coach and run game coordinator 2017-18, assistant head coach and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach 2020-21).

“Especially in the last eight years we have built the offensive together. He was very committed,” said DeBoer last summer. “Yes, he was the offense coach before becoming a coordinator. But he knew he wanted to be a coordinator, so he was always paying attention and asking questions, and we developed our system together.

“He’s just really smart and you mix that with a phenomenal work ethic and you get a guy who’s organized who the players believe in because they see he cares about them as a person and a footballer. It’s cool to see the trust they’re gaining in him.”

That trust could soon be damaged.

The secret, it seems, has been revealed.

But where do the huskies go from here?

It’s unlikely that Grubb’s departure would result in a player exodus, considering the first transfer window of the off-season – during which players can enter the transfer portal without sacrificing a year of eligibility – ended on January 18. The second window is May 1-15 and follows the conclusion of the spring practice. The deadline to enter the 2023 NFL draft has also passed.

A likely departure should also have little impact on the new tier, considering UW already signed 26 players (18 newcomers and eight transfers) in December. The only Husky commit yet to be announced is four-star wide receiver Taeshaun Lyons and his addition is expected to become official on the second day of the signing on Wednesday.

Of course, an unexpected vacancy of an offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach would no doubt affect UW’s search for a third scholarship quarterback this offseason. After redshirt student Sam Huard announced a move to Cal Poly on Monday, UW are left with just two scholarship callers heading into the spring — Penix (a sixth-year senior) and Morris (a fifth-year junior).

UW is determined to add another arm this spring/summer. But it would be difficult to corral a quarterback without an offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach.

But should Grubb leave, DeBoer would have some intriguing internal options in his search for an offensive coordinator. The most obvious choice is JaMarcus Shephard, associate head coach, pass game coordinator and wide receiver coach, who previously served as Purdue’s co-offensive coordinator from 2018-2021. However, it’s worth noting that Shephard has yet to announce college-level games.

DeBoer could also make the case for tight ends coach Nick Sheridan — who succeeded DeBoer as Penix’s offensive coordinator and Indiana quarterbacks coach in 2020 and 2021 had to contend with the following fall (4 TDs and seven interceptions in four games).

The most realistic outcome might be a combination of both – Shephard taking on offensive coordinator duties, Sheridan moving on to quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator, and UW hiring a tight ends coach. It’s worth noting that Sheridan — a former Michigan quarterback — previously coached quarterbacks in Indiana (2020-21, 2017-18), Tennessee (2014-16, as a research assistant), and South Florida (2013, QB coach and passing). coordinator) and Western Kentucky (2012, QB coach and passing game coordinator).

There’s also a chance DeBoer could regain play-calling responsibility (while Shephard or Sheridan serves as OC) given his excellent reputation as an offensive coordinator and play-caller in Indiana, Fresno State, Eastern Michigan, Southern Illinois and Sioux Falls taken into account. But DeBoer hasn’t called any games in his three seasons as FBS head coach and likely prefers to maintain a more overarching “CEO” role.

As mentioned, DeBoer has options.

None better than a returning Grubb, however.

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